You could say Aston Villa have reached core meltdown this week. While, it’s not the first time they have been beaten at home by Liverpool, the eleven players might as well have planted a white flag in the centre circle before kick-off and driven off home in their flash cars (see player’s instagram pictures).
Early doors in the weekend’s home game against Liverpool, I commented to a friend on the difference of intensity in Leicester’s closing down of Arsenal players in the day’s earlier fixture compared to Villa’s lacklustre and casual zonal marking against Liverpool. The warning signs were there, throw in some Sunday League defending and the 6-0 was no surprise.
The players let themselves down, Garde let himself down (maybe get your team to press the opposition, if they have decent players like Liverpool do?) and Villa’s relegation was as good as rubber-stamped.
Liverpool had scored five when they visited Norwich, the difference though was Norwich scored four in reply and should have got something from the game.
Villa’s recent finding of some semblance of form against average teams has been too little, too late. Thus they needed to step up against the bigger teams. You only have to see what Sunderland did to Manchester United to see the level of what Villa needed to achieve on Sunday.
“Randy Lerner what a wanker, what a wanker”, rang out from the Holte End several times during the Liverpool game as the goals rattled in. The fans know who is ultimately responsible for the club’s downfall, but the Villa owner now sits in an ivory tower in America having relinquished responsibility to Hollis and Fox.
During the game, several Villa fans were thrown out with stewards declaring marshall law on any supporter using Tom Fox’s name in vain. The Villa CEO has employed personal security guards, as MOMS first reported at the AVST AGM (while he lays off other staff). This is a sad state of affairs and there was no surprise when an ex-Villa worker broke her silence on the toxic atmosphere at the club.
While as supporters we plan to get our club back, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans…
5. False Hope
The false hope that has maintained the apathetic state of Villa supporters has finally been vanquished. Yeah, Villa beat Norwich, but you can see why most teams dispatch Norwich at home. Unless Newcastle and Sunderland both completely self combust, I can’t see Norwich saving themselves. So, the 2-0 victory wasn’t the turning point of sorts that some pockets of supporters hoped it might be. The 6-0 defeat against Liverpool was the reality check.
If you weren’t resigned to the Championship before Christmas , then you have three months to prepare yourselves, so you’re not one of those blubbering fans that the television cameras zoom in on for the money shot of fans crying about their relegation. It’s time to get angry.
Holte Enders used irony to cover the despair of what was unfolding in front of their eyes.
“It’s only five nil, how sh*t must you be, it’s only five nil,” they sang, before changing the lyrics accordingly when Liverpool scored a sixth. Also, when Sinclair hit the bar late on, the Holte celebrated it as if it was a goal.
The last ten minutes of fans vocally celebrating their own support was a defiant act. This club’s supporters are too good to go down, even if the team are not.